Late Model Bolex L8

L-8 (late model)

8mm Camera


  • OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 4 7/8in x 3 1/8in x 1 3/4in.
  • WEIGHT: 1 lb 12 oz.
  • OUTER CASE: Highly polished duraluminium body, covered in genuine Morocco leather. Metal parts are chrome-plated.
  • FILM CAPACITY: 25ft daylight loading spools of double run 8mm film. When a roll runs through the camera, only half the width of film is exposed. The spool is then reversed and run through again, exposing the other half. When processed, film is split and spliced together giving 50' for projection. Projection time at 16 fps for 25' roll is 4 minutes.
  • THREADING: manual, with no loop forming; with the pressure pad opened the film is simply placed over a guide roller, threaded behind the gate, over the bottom guide roller and onto the takeup spool.
  • MOTOR: Constant speed, spring motor mechanism; governor controlled. Generous winding key, attached to the camera, folds back against its side when not in use. Spring cannot be over-wound.
  • LENS MOUNT: Thread diameter of 5/8" (15.8mm) with a setting of 0.3075" (7.8mm). Standard D mount lenses can be used with the L-8 ring adaptor.
  • VIEWFINDER: Optical type; instantly changed with a sliding mask, to accommodate the field of view for lenses of F=12.5mm, 25mm and 36mm. The field is seen through the finder as it will appear on the film. Accessory prism can be attached for lenses of F=5.5mm.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 12, 16, 24 and 32 frames per second.
  • L8 with cable release RELEASE BUTTON: provides for the making of continuous exposures by finger-tip release or by locking it in running position. The button also rotates to provide a definite lock to prevent accidental operation when not in use.
  • FOOTAGE COUNTER: automatically resets to zero when film is removed or when changing spools from one side to the other. When the end of 25ft of film is passing the gate, an indicator comes into the finder automatically.
  • TRIPOD SOCKET: 1/4" thread

Notes and Comments

The L-8 camera was modified in 1947 to include a speed selector dial. Another slight modification was the addition of a grooved slot over the viewfinder mask, which allowed parallax correcting accessory prisms to be attached. Another prism was available which provided a corrected field of view when using a 5.5mm lens (in conjunction with the L-8 ring adaptor).

Serial Numbers and Dates of Manufacture

The serial number on a Bolex L8 can be found on the base of the camera, inscribed around the tripod mount; it can be used to determine the year in which it was manufactured. The improved version of the L8, with variable speed dial, was manufactured until 1954.

Bolex L8 (late model) :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
65000 70000 1947
70000 75000 1948
75000 80000 1949
80000 90000 1950
90000 100000 1951
100000 120000 1952
120000 135000 1953
135000 137000 1954